Articles, Narcissism, Relationships

How to win at dating after a narcissistic relationship

a couple sitting on a bench symbolizing the dating phase after a narcissistic relationship

You know how difficult dating is after a narcissistic relationship. Being raised by a narcissistic mother or tending to a narcissistic lover’s needs to the point of exhaustion will destroy your self-esteem in long-term. Which will make you vulnerable to attracting more narcissists into your life.

That’s because your mother taught you how to tolerate abuse and normalized toxic relationships as if they’re the only ways to get the love you need.

I know it’s cruel. She should have shown you kind, beautiful love. You deserved a nurturing, warm childhood and not an emotional prison where you were kept for long times and taken out only to serve someone’s need.

Your mother used you and, even though you might not accept this at the moment, it is the truth. You can’t punish her now (well, you can but, what’s the point of revenge?) thus, the best way to go further from here is to let go of her completely and live a life that makes you happy.

I’m not in a committed relationship at the moment but I think I started getting better at taking care of myself and tolerating my own presence.The relationship with myself has precedence now as I truly wanna become healthier for a future relationship.

This is an improvement for me ever since I broke up with my ex years ago. Being alone was something shameful in the past. I learned how important it was to be with a man and cast off loneliness and self-fulfillment from my mother.

Source: pexels.com

For some reason, everybody expected me to find a boyfriend while living abroad and get married because it was important for my mother. I had to make her look good by getting married and having babies. This is what success means in our family and, from my mother’s point of view, I failed.

These unusual marriage expectations probably stem from my mother’s fragile self-esteem and from the family’s overall level of confidence. See, narcissistic families need others to reflect well on them because they do not have an inner ability to shine in the world. It’s not because they can’t shine (I think they could if they treated their personality disorder). They are simply oblivious to the fact that they shouldn’t use others, especially their children to live their life or soothe their inner wounds.

Your narcissistic parents are the way they are and they will not change. However, you can. You don’t have to be the same person who allows abuse into his /her life just because you were taught that this is normal. Rise up and stand against abuse. You can start this by not allowing toxic partners to go in and out of your life. Here are few ways to start doing that.

1. Heal your wounds from a past, narcissistic relationship

You know how it goes. After being in a toxic relationship you get used to the cycle of abuse. That makes it harder for you to recognize the red flags of a narcissistic man or woman. You learned early on how to give people second, third chances and forgive them. You were told to be the ‘bigger guy’ and apologize to your bully brother without him expressing his regrets towards his aggressive behavior.

In a dysfunctional family, abuse is swiped under the rug and the victims are treated as if nothing really bad happened to them. Truth is, it that, abuse is bad. Adult children of narcissists grow up with this mentality that terrible behavior is normal, good behavior. If your dad puts you down constantly and then jokes about it, you expect this to be OK. You might tell yourself that all fathers behave like this.

Another behavior that is considered abuse is when your mother forbids you to cry and even punishes you for it. I can’t even count the times I was told to stop crying or to ‘wipe those tears off your face’. This type of negative behavior leaves scars in the child who will grow up being ashamed of his feelings. And, when entering a romantic relationship, he will have problems accepting and giving love away.

That’s why it’s important to heal the wounds that bother you the most.

2. Watch out for the narcissistic man/woman out there

I know, it’s difficult to believe that you are able to attract a kind, wonderful and confident man or woman after a narcissistic relationship. However, it is not only possible to meet a wonderful person but even someone who will want a relationship with you. Tell yourself daily that you are a great catch and people would be lucky to have you in their life. I don’t know you but, if you dated narcissists or even married one, you are a strong and resilient person.

Narcissists surround themselves with those who are willing to please them and put them first. Doing so many things for another person makes you kind, gentle and empathetic. Don’t let the narcissists take away your gifts. Give your gifts away to partners who appreciate them. And, you will get so much in return.

3. Give non-charismatic people a chance

The typical narcissistic person is usually very charismatic. He will ooze confidence from the way they look, talk and act. Of course, there are many charismatic folks out there who are not narcissists. However, the ones with the most fragile ego will overcompensate the lack of self by being too proud or too ‘out there’. You will recognize them in a room full of people. And they won’t have any problem selling themselves to you. So you can buy into their reputation and be in a relationship with them. Which, in the end, will turn out to be a disaster.

But what about those who don’t look charismatic? What about those dates whom you label as boring or ‘not interesting’? If you wanna date people with a more healthy level of narcissism, don’t opt for those who try hard to impress you (and others) with their clothes, money, style or communication skills. Go for those you wouldn’t normally date and you’d be more likely to find a good partner.

4. Go out with different types of people

Date as many people as possible, no matter what’s your ideal type. I used to have a type (look at the guy in the feature photo and you’ll get the picture, ha ha) but that made me overlook other great guys around me. One time, I decided to give a chance to someone who was not my type and, boy was it great. It was the best experience I ever had. Go out with any type of woman (or man) that incites a bit of your interest. If there is something interesting about her (him), pursue it and see where it goes.

5. Pamper yourself

After a narcissistic relationship, you will be hurt and confused. And your body is going to be tired due to all that anxiety it went through during the abuse. Give yourself time to recover. Pamper yourself by sleeping long in the weekend, get a massage every month or read your favorite novels. You can buy yourself flowers, meditate or be with friends who will listen to you.

If it is your mother who abused you, stop communication with her for a while. Take a few months off from your mom until you decide what to do with this relationship. A wise therapist from the self-help You Tube channel Family Tree Counseling Brand said that nothing dramatic is going to happen if you stop getting the love and validation of a parent. The world will not explode.

Things will not start crushing down on you because you don’t take your mother’s phone calls. If your mother has extreme narcissism, she would probably be angry with you for taking away her source of pleasure (which is you).

You satisfied her needs for your entire life and when you destroy the source of satisfaction, she will eventually move on to another person. (read more about narcissistic supply from Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers‘ Blog)

For more information on how to go about dating after a narcissistic relationship, watch Family Tree Brand’s video, Dating after narcissistic abuse . Another video that can help is Lisa A. Romano’s How to know you are ready to begin dating after narcissistic and codependent relationships.

All in all, you gotta be careful when starting dating after a narcissistic relationship. A toxic ex made you weak and insecure about your abilities. You can even start doubting yourself as a person. However, you will recover in time. You are stronger and more resilient than you can ever imagine.

Have you found love after a narcissistic relationship? Leave a comment below.

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